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Personal Statement

Volume 526: debated on Thursday 8 April 1954

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I desire to make a personal statement, a copy of which I have supplied to the Prime Minister.

In the course of Monday's debate on the hydrogen bomb, I intervened during the Prime Minister's speech and said:
"I understood that the right hon. Gentleman had made a private and secret agreement on this matter with President Roosevelt which was not published. Of course, we were aware of it—those of us who were entitled to know-but at the time it was surely a secret, confidential agreement."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 5th April, 1954; Vol. 526, c. 53.]
As the House will appreciate, it is dial-cult to recall the details of Cabinet proceedings which occurred some years ago. I have since made inquiries, as was my right, having been a member of the War Cabinet, and I find I was in error in saying:
"Of course, we were aware of it—those of us who were entitled to know.…"
The Prime Minister's agreement with President Roosevelt was essentially of a personal character. Neither before, during nor after their discussions on this matter was the War Cabinet informed or its authority sought for the agreement. It is, I think, right that this should be made clear.